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Electricity privatisation linked to bushfires; Grattan report slammed by ETU

The Electrical Trades Union has slammed a recent report by the Grattan Institute as little more than an opportunistic call to sell-off Australia’s essential electricity assets to its corporate mates. ETU National Secretary Allen Hicks described the report as lacking integrity and avoiding the real cost drivers in Australia’s energy system. He also drew attention to the numerous fires started by electrical infrastructure faults. This is a matter that preoccupies us at candobetter.net as we see more and more bush cleared, wildlife lose habitat, and all the while most fires are started by humans and electrical faults. The Victorian Bushfire Commission has institutionalised this cruel absurdity.

ETU raises white flag in fight against Queensland fire sale - Why?

On Saturday 10 April, at a Brisbane anti-privatisation forum held by Search Foundation, the Secretary of the Queensland branch of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU), an avowedly hard-line anti-privatisation union, revealed his view that the fight against the Bligh Government's fire sale was lost.

What you can do: If you are a member of a union affected by privatisation, particularly a member of the ETU, contact your union and demand that meetings be called so that this question be decided democratically by the membership. See also: "If the unions get off their knees, privatisation can be stopped!" of 4 May 10, Queensland Not For Sale - the Qld Council of Union's anti-privatisation web site, "Time for the B team" of 11 Apr 10 on johnquiggin.com and "Explaining Bligh’s privatisation push: Search Foundation forum" also of 11 Apr 10 on larvatusprodeo.net

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Updates, 2 May 10: Branch secretary claims ETU misrepresented by article and my response and a further response by Tony Reeves; Motion carried unanimously by meeting of AMWU members in Redbank Railway workshops in June 2009 calling for industrial action to defeat privatisation.

What will disaffiliation from the Labor Party achieve for the ETU?

The Electrical Trade Union's threat to disaffiliate from the Labor Party in protest at its treatment by the Queensland and Federal Labor Government begs the question of how trade unions can ever hope to be adequately represented in Parliament.

See also: QLD Labor stung by protests, poll in the Brisbane Times of 21 June 08.

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